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THE ORPHAN BECAME A CHIEF Sang Piatu Menjadi Raja
Property of the State Not for Commercial Use
Language Development and Cultivation Agency Ministry of Education and Culture
Republic of Indonesia 2018
THE ORPHAN BECAME A CHIEF
Sang Piatu Menjadi Raja written by Halimi Hadibrata
published by Language Development and Cultivation Agency
Ministry of Education and Culture in 2016
This translation has been published as the result of the translation program organized
by The Center for Language Strategy and Diplomacy Development, Language Development and Cultivation Agency, Ministry of Education and Culture
Advisory Board Dadang Sunendar Emi Emilia
Gufran Ali Ibrahim Project Supervisor Dony Setiawan
Translator Ana Susilowati Reviewer Raden Safrina
Editor-In-Chief Theya Wulan Primasari Editorial Team Emma L.M. Nababan
Andi Maytendri Matutu Saprudin Padlil Syah Meili Sanny Sinaga
All rights reserved. Copyrights of the original book and the translation belong to
Language Development and Cultivation Agency, Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia.
Language Development and Cultivation Agency Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia
Jalan Daksinapati Barat IV, Rawamangun, Jakarta Telepon (021) 4706287, 4706288, 4896558, 4894546
Pos-el: [email protected] www.badanbahasa.kemdikbud.go.id
Literature work is not only series of word but it also talks
about life, both realistically and idealistically of human. If it is
realistic, the literature work usually contains life experiences,
good model, and wisdom whic have been added various style and
imagination along with it. Meanwhile, if it idealistic, the literature
work contains moral lecture, good character, advices,
philosophical symbols, culture and other things related to human
life. The life itself is very diverse, varies, and full of various
problems and conflicts faced by humans. The diversity in humans
life also affects to the diversity of literature work because the
contents are inseparable from civilized and dignified humans life.
The literature works that dealing with life utilizes
language as medium of deliverance and imaginative art as its
cultural land. On the basis of the language medium and
imaginative art, literature is multidimensional and multi-
interpretative. Using language medium, imginative art and
cultural dimension, literature deliver messages to be reviewed or
analyzed from various perspectives. The outcome of that
perspective depends greatly on who is reviewing and analyzing
with various socio-cultural and knowledge background. There is a
time when a literary reviewer reviews from the point of view of
metaphor, myth, symbol, power, ideology, economy, politics, and
culture can be refuted by other reviewers who see from
perspective of sound, referent, or irony. Even so, Heraclitus said,
"However opposite they work together and from different
directions, the most beautiful harmony emerges".
There are many lessons that we can get from reading
literature, one of which is reading folktales that are adapted or
reprocessed into children's stories. The results of reading
literature always inspire and motivate readers to be creative in
finding something new. Reading literature can trigger further
imagination, open enlightenment, and add insights. For this
reason, we express our gratitude for the processors for the story.
We also express our appreciation and gratitude to the Head of the
Coaching Center, Head of the Learning Division, and Head of the
Subdivision of Modules and Teaching Materials and staffs for all
the efforts and hard works carried out until the realization of this
Hopefully this storybook is not only useful as a reading
material for students and the community to foster a culture of
literacy through the National Literacy Movement program, but
also useful as an enrichment of our knowledge of past life that
can be utilized in addressing current and future life developments.
Jakarta, June 2016
Prof. Dr. Dadang Sunendar, M. Hum.
Preface Bismillah, Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Praise and thankful be offered to the Almighty God for
His gifts, so that the story of The Orphan Become A Chief has
been finished, adapted from the original story. The original story
was in the Kaur regional language with an Indonesian translation
of the Malay Kaur dialect by Malisah (2000, not yet published)
from Nangliah, the speaker, recorded on September 4, 1999 with
the original title Sang Piatu Belajar Sembahyang.
This adaptation story retains the character, location, plot,
theme, and story mandate, but changes part of the title, style of
storytelling, and adds description of the location, and extends the
storyline. The change aims to adjust the structure and content of
the story with the target audience and the spirit of the literacy
movement 2016. When compared to the original story, this story
looks very different in language and style of storytelling. The
language used in the original story is very thick with the
Indonesian language structure of the Malay Kaur dialect, while
this story prioritizes the structure of the Indonesian language
which is good and proper. The style of descriptive, persuasive,
and educative storytelling is the style that the writer of this story
deliberately chooses. Even so, the vocabulary of the local culture
associated with the setting of the story is still maintained, even
some of them are added and accompanied by short information
short. The addition of cultural vocabulary and information is
based on the results of limited surveys and conversations with
colleagues who came from Kaur Regency, especially from
language mapping informants in Kaur Regency (2015).
Therefore, thanks were given to data collectors and
speakers, and the 2016 Literacy Movement Team, Centre for
Language Coaching, Language Development and Cultivation
Agency, Jakarta, and colleagues who had given advice and
explanation of Kaur's cultural vocabulary. Hopefully this story
will contribute and become our good deeds in building the
character of the Indonesian children.
Table of Contents Foreword ....................................................................................... v
Preface ......................................................................................... vii
Table of Contents ......................................................................... ix
THE ORPHAN BECAME A CHIEF ............................................ 1
The Orphan Learned to Perform Salat (Islamic Daily Prayers) 1
Learning to Grow Crops ............................................................ 4
Learning to Trade and Live Independently ............................... 9
Learning to perform Salat with the Honorable Chief .............. 17
Discovering Magical Diamond ............................................... 29
The Orphan Got Married to A Princess ................................... 38
The Orphan Became A Chief .................................................. 44
The Author .................................................................................. 46
The Editor .................................................................................... 48
THE ORPHAN BECAME A CHIEF
The Orphan Learned to Perform Salat (Islamic Daily
Once upon a time, an orphaned boy lived with his grandmother in
a hut on the field. Since his father and mother passed away about
ten years ago, he lived with his grandmother in a bamboo-walled
hut on a field located on the hillside in the area of South
Bengkulu. The place was located far away from the villages of the
people. In the center and several corners of the field, several trees
were let to grow for shade. The orphan used the trees to tie up the
stake of bamboo propeller which endlessly span, defying the
The bamboo hut and field were surrounded by forests covered by
many species of large trees of which branches stretched out wide
with dense, bushy leaves. The stems of several big trees were
overgrown with layered and leveled kedaka. Rattan stems grew
fertile, sticking out in overlapped position across one tree to
Then, at that time, the Orphan turned fifteen year-old. Day by
day, he learned to perform Salat prayers from his grandmother.
He was also taught farming and trading the crops, little by little.
When it comes to trade mathematics, the price of crops per item
or each bundle is adjusted to the existing denomination of money
at that time. For example, one bundle of vegetables is worth one
rupiah, one bundle of cassava is worth five rupiahs, and one
durian is worth one rupiah. He could only counted by memorizing
the shapes, appearances, and types of denomination. The total
price of his products, anyway, never exceeded fifty rupiahs per
Learning to Grow Crops
He worked hard at farming on the field with his grandmother.
Planting corns, sweet potatoes, cassavas, taros, and vegetables
was his work and expertise. He mostly planted vegetable crops,
such as tomatoes, chilies, cucumbers, long beans, and onions. To
grow vegetables, the field was initially opened by clearing the
weeds and the waste straws from rice fields that had been
harvested. The straws previously cut with machetes were then
collected and stacked into several piles, and then they were dried
under the sun.
“Grandma, why do we pile up the straws instead of letting them
fly around on the ground?” asked the Orphan in curiosity. His
grandmother gently replied, “If we let them fly around, it will be
difficult to loosen the soil and build the embankment paths where
we can grow vegetables. Later, we will make the dry straws and
weeds as the soil cover to keep the soil damp. Moreover, once the
straws decompose, they will be fertilizer that nourishes our
“Oh, I see, now I understand it, grandma,” said the Orphan while
wiping the sweat on his forehead. Then, he continued his work
with his grandmother.
The previously-cleared ground was dug up with a fork, for about
thirty centimeters deep. The dugout was subsequently moved to
its side using a hoe to a place where the embankment was built.
The embankment was approximately thirty centimeters high, half
a meter wide, and twenty meters long, adapted to the ground tilt
of the ground. The pit that was located between on one
embankment and another became a path for the Orphan and his
grandmother at the time of planting, watering, or eliminating the
“You should not stomp on the loosened soil, okay? The soil
shouldn’t become compact,” The grandmother reminded her
“Why shouldn’t we compact the soil where we plant our
vegetables, Grandma?” asked the Orphan once again.
“If the soil is compact, it will be difficult for the rainwater to seep
into the soil, thus making it hard the plant roots to spread in
searching nutrients in the soil. If the plants are lacking the
nutrients from the soil, they have difficulties to grow, leaving
them stunted, or even dying. Dwarf plants won’t be able to
produce fertile vegetable’s leaves or fruits. Now, it’s not far
different from humans, if they are lazy to eat, they will be thin. If
they are lazy to learn, they will only have little knowledge and
will not be really smart; in other word stupid. If they are lazy to
get to work, their muscles will turn weak, making them get tired
quickly while working, and they won’t have much skill in
working,” said the grandmother who was keen to teach life
lessons to his grandson.
“Cacam…..I agree, Grandma, I do not want be a fool with weak
muscle and lazy to work,” the Orphan reacted to his
They chatted while working. They shared their duties, the Orphan
dug up the soil using a fork, whilst the grandmother loosened the
soil using a hoe. Before planting, the loosened soil was perforated
by ten centimeters and given with manure mixed with soil.
Afterwards, the soil and manure in each hole for planting were
covered with straws and dry grass to keep them damp and avoid
erosion from rainwater. After being let sit for about three days,
the fertilized soil pits were planted with vegetable seeds that
could be removed from the seedbed.
The chili and tomato seeds which had grown for about twenty
centimeters in the seedbed were then carefully removed and
latterly planted in the provided hole, at distance of half a meter
from each other. As for cucumbers and long beans, they were
planted in this way: their seeds were directly planted in the
loosened embankment at distance of half a meter.
To make them look good and easy to maintain, each plant species
was planted to its respective embankments. Five embankments
were intended for tomatoes and chilies, respectively; three
embankments for cucumber, and two embankments for long
beans. Once the plant grew, particularly the long beans, they must
be supported with poles made of bamboo. The bamboo pole was
three centimeters wide and half a meter high. The poles were
erected exactly next to the plans to spread; one pole for one plant.
For cucumbers and tomatoes, the bamboo poles had to be made in
pair, on the left and right, but the pole’s top end must be tied
together with bamboo straps. Cucumbers could spread and
survive on bamboo poles, as they had some kind of hanging roots
to twist around and contain their stems on the bamboo pole. As
for tomatoes, they must be assisted by human in tying the stems
to the poles; thus they would not fall off the ground, especially
when they began to bear fruit. All the work in treating the plants
required patience, agility, and attention. The routines to take care
of the plants fostered the Orphan into a responsible boy and
nature lover, and it also trained him to increasingly be grateful
with the growth of the fertile plants. The changes appeared clearer
by day. The flower seeds turned into beautiful flowers, attracting
the insects to suck out the honey while pollinating the pistil with
the head of the pistil. Then on, those lovely flowers developed
into small vegetables, growing longer and bigger, but some of
them failed to grow and fell rotten onto the ground in vain.
In the dry season, he had to water his plants to avoid water
shortage, thus keeping them grow fruitfully.
He watered the plants using mountain springs water retrieved
using gerigi (a bucket made of bamboo). The gerigi was half-a-
bamboo-segment long, approximately sixty centimeters. The
bucket rope was made of a type small of rattan which measured
about an index finger, stretching from the bottom to the top to be
placed on left or right shoulder.
He could get many types of ropes from the nature, such as rattan,
tree roots, dry banana leafs and stems. He was also skillful at
creating ropes made of cut and thinly sliced bamboo (green
bamboo) just as that of woven material. To carry field products,
the Orphan made beronang (shoulder basket) himself that was
made of woven bamboo or rattan. The shoulder pole was made up
of aur bamboo (a thick and tough bamboo species), cut for more
or less one meter long, then split, smoothed, and finally dried.
Learning to Trade and Live Independently
Aside from cultivating with his grandmother who was also his
nanny, the Orphan worked every weekend to sell vegetables and
yams. He carried them on his shoulder around the village in the
foothills. He walked around to vend alone. He left home carrying
field products, and returning home with few groceries, such as
rice, salted fish, and kitchen spices. The remaining money from
the trading activity was handed to his grandmother for savings.
When he went for trading, he had to walk to a distant village in
the valley and at the other side of the river at the foothill. It was
located about five kilometers away from his field on the mountain
slope. He passed a path which was overgrown with bushes and
big trees on either side. The branches of the big trees were the
playground of many kinds of animals. That place was overridden
with monkeys, langurs, and orangutans. They jumped around
from one branch to another or from one tree to another. Once in a
while, the tree animals made loud noise, replying at each other.
They lived together with the noisy birds and flew around looking
The Orphan was neither afraid nor discouraged to pass deserted
paths as he shouldered his field products to sell. He did all of
these to survive with his old grandmother. He kept walking down
the hill barefooted and dressed decently. In his trip, he appeared
to be silent, but his mind and heart were always talking to
himself: “Life is a constant struggle, there’s no struggle without
sacrifice,” he mumbled, encouraging himself.
Along the way, he sometimes took a rest for a moment in a place
where he could gaze the foothill as he pleased. As he sat for a
while under a tree, just to take a rest momentarily, the view of the
river banks in the valley was so captivating. The vast open rice
fields were adorned with shacks and coconut trees waving in the
The farmers indistinctly seemed to be busy working, and so his
late father and mother sprung to his mind. He let his trail of
memories wander back to his mind and feeling as a child; as if
they were still alive; as if the people working on the fields were
his own father and mother. They were working together as farm
laborers, plowing rice fields, planting rice, weeding and
harvesting rice on the fields when the harvest season came. While
at the same time, he was playing with the children of other farm
Going up and down in the shack or cascade was always exciting.
Small propeller made of dried coconut leafs that was pierced with
rod skewer placed inside a rice straw became their favorite toy.
He ran slowly with the propeller in his hands on rice field
embankment for it to spin. When the wind blew, he did not need
to run. The coconut leaf propeller only needed to be held in hand
while sitting towards the wind for it to spin. Another fun game for
him was swinging on a rattan rope held up high on a flat tree
branch. He sat and his friend gave him a push in turn. As he
swayed, they blew trumpets made of rice straw.
Rice fields, shacks, lakes and the trees in the vicinity turned into a
playground, learning park, and place to practice and learn about
lives. What he heard and saw was kept in his mind, changing it
into life experiences that now and then came back to mind,
reanimated, and brought about different kinds of feelings. There
was a sense of poignancy, sadness, and yearning in particular, for
his late mother and father.
These trails of memories, in fact, granted him life spirit and
encouragement to be a boy who worked hard, intelligent, and
assertiveness to tell right from wrong.
He was not drawn in the memories of his father and mother for
too long. He continued his journey, carrying his wares. As he
descending the valley, the big trees were getting rarely seen. The
land at the foothill became steeper for being overgrown with
hordes of bamboo trees. The bamboo groves sticking out; their
twigs and leaves from one grove could merge with bamboo from
other groves, forming a shady and large cave hallway. The floor
of that open field was filled with dry leaves and twigs where the
animals played around.
Now and again, the reptiles, such as snakes crossed on the path to
chase lizards. A busyness of ferrets frequently played chase,
making noise in the bushes. There were also hiding animals that
crept over, then ran fast to ambush unaware preys between
falling, withered leaves and broken branches. That was the
scenery of the animal’s lives in the wilderness usually seen by the
Orphan on his way down the hill to the river valley.
The soil of river valley was nearly flat and overgrown with stretch
of dark green thatch. When the wind blew, it blew like oceanic
wave, one catching up to the other endlessly. That was the beauty
of enchanting, naturally-fresh, and free from pollution wilderness.
The scenery nearly blended together with never ending green
paddy leafs of terrace fields on the hill. The Orphan was used to
walking on a rather slippery, sloping ground and winding rice
fields. The vast rice fields at the foothill were built in terrace
As far as the eye could see, the fields appeared like giant stairs,
some were green, and some nearly turned yellow, marking the
beginning of the harvest season. As the valley getting nearer to
the river body, the plots of the rice fields even seemed to stretch
wider. There were also some plots of rice fields that looked like
as wide as a football field. There were also rice fields that were
not planted with rice, leaving them flooded like a small lake for a
shack, where goldfish, Mozambique tilapia, and gourami bred.
After the harvest season which took place once a year, the paddy
fields changed into a stretch of meadow where the cattle ate. The
beef cattle and buffalo were let stray, greedily foraging with no
end supply of food. The shepherd boys were having fun, singing
memory and adoration songs of natural beauty. The lives between
the trees and roar of river water felt fresh and clean; without the
dust and roaring, noisy vehicles in the city. There was only
beautiful view of color mix and plant diversity in the wild and the
wind blowing from the hill downwards the vast, open valley. The
natural beauty was blended together with the strains of ballads of
regional songs, the heritage from the ancestors of village children.
That was the original song of their relatives’ routines in the rice
fields, the place to learn about lives without the presence books,
blackboards, tables, and chairs. The Malayan proverb was right
about this: the nature was becoming a teacher; a smart person
was guided by teachings. All of these were thoroughly felt and
experienced by the Orphan.
Among the one terraced paddy field to the other, numerous
mounds of land formed small hills. Fruitful and green-leafed
coconut trees were planted in between those rocks. In other
mounds, there were shady mango, rambutan, durian, and langsa
Between the trees, stood a sack where the farmers took a rest. The
Orphan occasionally took a break and greeted the farmers in that
sack. In that place, sometimes, after harvesting, the shepherd boys
took a shelter and played flute or serunai. Some of them did
benandai (singing) ballads songs of Kaur Regency. This area with
beautiful nature was located in Bengkulu Province. It was
bordered by Lampung Province and blue Indian Ocean to the
It was inevitable that the feet of the Orphan were smeared by
mud, especially in the rainy season, because he carried the burden
through the rice fields. He washed off the mud in aiye (river) by
rubbing it with the shoots of young banana leafs or greenies found
in the proximity of that aiye. If the mud got too sticky, he rubbed
it off with a handful of flat stone until clean.
Later, he swam and dove in that crystal-clear river. He repeatedly
swimming, diving, going up, and going down while cleaning his
body. At times, he would sunbathe on the rocks, or checked the
fish traps he had placed beforehand between the rocks. The fish
that got trapped in there were lifted and pierced with a rope in
their gill section to make them arranged neatly, and then he
brought them home to the hut.
That living habit had shaped the body of Orphan into gallant,
hefty, muscular, and fresh appearance. His body was more
frequently wrapped in shirt and angle-length dark blue pants,
equipped with white belt, while his head was covered with woven
bamboo hat. Despite his hard and difficult life, he was always
good at maintaining his body hygiene and health. He also smartly
behaved and maintained good manner when he went to trade and
socialize in Kedurang Village and Padang Guci Village.
Learning to perform Salat with the Honorable Chief
On a day, the Orphan asked permission to his grandmother to
learn Salat and Quran recital at Pesirahan Kedurang (District
Level). “Grandma, after going home from trade, I will go to the
house of the Honorable Chief in that pesirahan, across the aiye
(river) there. I would like to study Salat and Quran recital to
enrich those that you have taught me.” The Orphan spoke to
himself: “I want to live like the Honorable Chief in Pesirahan
Kedurang. He surely has good prayers and deeds to ask for the
boon from God.” He then told his grandmother. “Grandma, when
the people in that village bought our garden products, they gave
large sum of money, they are well-dressed and live in beautiful
houses on stilts.”
“All right, grandson, but I only have three rupiahs left.” said his
“I only ask for one rupiah, Grandma,” replied the Orphan.
Once arriving at the house of the Honorable Chief, he was asked
by the Honorable Chief: “What are you doing here, Orphan?”
“Pardon me, your Excellency, I heard that your Excellency
teaches congregational prayers and Quran recital. If I may, I
would also like to learn prayers and Quran recital with you,” said
the hopeful Orphan bravely.
“Of course it can be, as long as you bring money," answered the
“Yes, I indeed bring the money, but I’ve only got one rupiah,”
answered the Orphan.
“Well, if you only have one rupiah, it means teaching you a
phrase will be enough.”
“It is fine, your Excellency,” told the Orphan eagerly.
“If so, repeat after me, Orphan, “If you don’t want to force it a
little,” said the Chief.
The Orphan repeated the Chief’s words, “If you don’t want to
force it a little.” The Orphan paused for a moment. He was
amazed. Is this a good prayer after performing Salat? Then he
asked, “Is that your only prayer after performing Salat, your
“Yes, that is enough for you. Now memorize it and go home!”
Don’t forget, perform Salat each time, and recite those prayers,”
told the Chief briefly.
The Orphan said goodbye, he then memorized and thought of the
message from his Quran recital teacher “If you don’t want to force
it a little.” Furthermore, he repeated it again, “If you don’t want
to force it a little.” he muttered to himself.
Coming home from the house of the Honorable Chief, the Orphan
diligently performed Salat and that prayer despite its limited
content. His nanny grandmother secretly eavesdropped on the
prayer recited by her grandson after performing Salat. His
grandmother was surprised to hear that the Orphan recited such
prayer after Salat session.
“My grandson, is that the only prayer you received from the
“Yes, Grandma, it was only that string of words, The Honorable
Chief gave me advice: perform Salat diligently every time,
memorize, and recite that prayer.
He said the most important thing is to practice it,” answered the
Orphan, imitating the way his teacher spoke.
“Yes! Now I understand it. After performing Salat and recite that
prayer, you must make practices, work, or earnestly make efforts
to get something and achieve your dream. If you do it lazily, you
must be willing to force yourself with your mind, instead of your
emotions. My grandson, we must be able to differentiate emotions
from reasoning. Our emotions lie ‘here’, in our hearts, told his
grandmother, pointing at the stomach below her chest. “Therefore
we often hear that some people are hurt from being offended;
some are yearning for their loved ones; a child is longing for his
father and mother who have passed away; a sister is yearning for
her brother who lives in the far away village. That is the emotion,
hunger, feeling of longing, or desire to play, to have fun.”
“Be careful with our own emotions. Don’t let them overwhelm
ourselves as they could beat our minds. How many stories about
the crown prince who was going crazy for beautiful beteri
(princess) in the far away land; how many village children get
carried away in their lives for succumbing to laziness; they are
being lazy and playing around all day long. They have no desire
to learn for their future. They do not want to practice doing
beneficial and useful works. They are not capable of feeding the
cattle, planting, picking vegetables, nor do they can catch fish in
the river. Just think about it thoroughly: What can they do to fill
their empty stomach? Laziness in learning may lead to ignorance.
Laziness to work may lead to poverty, lack of food, and hunger.”
The Orphan’s grandmother went on to give her advice. “Thereby,
be careful with our own feelings. Sometimes our feelings simply
wish for the good ones. Weigh your feelings and desires with a
healthy state of mind. Our mind lies in the brain, in our heads,”
said his grandmother, pointing at the wrinkled forehead above her
nearly shut eyes. “The mind is located here. It knows the needs of
life and our aspiration. It is the mind that can make good life
plans and dreams. To avoid the lusts of excessive feelings and
desires, you should perform prayers diligently, prostrating in
places of worship. Then, raise your hand in your prayers, asking
for guidance and goodness of life to the Almighty. With plenty of
recitations, prayers, and pleads to the Almighty, we will find
serenity of mind, our mind will become clear and we will be able
to work hard and patiently to achieve the aspiration of a happy
The grandmother’s advice flowed in and got into the soul of her
grandson in silence. The Orphan listened carefully, and
sometimes nodded his head in agreement. These advices
reminded him of his teacher he had not seen for a long time. After
a year passed, he began to miss the Honorable Chief; and so his
intention came to relearn, study the Quran, perform Salat and
other useful life teachings.
On the next day, he said goodbye to his grandmother. After his
wares were sold out, the Orphan went back to the house of
Honorable Chief. “Hey, Orphan, you truly has strong will to learn
performing Salat,” said the Honorable Chief.
“Of course, I want to study until finish,” replied the Orphan.
“How much money do you bring today, Orphan?” demanded the
“Only one rupiah, your Excellency.”
“Well, last year it was one rupiah, and so is this time around,”
said the Honorable Chief.
“Yes, it is how it goes, your Excellency, my grandmother only
gave me one rupiah.”
“If so then repeat after me, “If you don’t want to force it a little;
hold it back a little if you want,” mentioned the Chief. From then
on, the Orphan repeated it enthusiastically until he fully
memorized it in front of the Chief. Later, he was sent home to his
hut on the field to accompany his grandmother who was home
The next day as usual, in the morning, he packed to vend sweet
potatoes and cassavas, and few bundles of vegetables that he
carried around in his bucket. He went around the village shouting,
“Cassavas, cassavas, anyone?” There are few cassavas, bundles of
sensile (papaya leafs), shoots of ferns!”
“Cassavas, cassavas, anyone?”
Until three in the afternoon, it still felt hot, but not even one
person had bought his sweet potatoes or vegetables. He felt
thirsty, tired, and desperate. Later, he stopped under a shady
banyan tree on the roadside. He then sat, daydreamed while
taking a look at his unsold wares. He muttered in his heart, “O
God, please help your servant, how difficult it is to vend for
money. How hard it is to live without father and mother.” He
went on to talk to himself, “Blessed the children in this village
who still have mother and father by their sides.” They should
have been more grateful and obeyed their parents.
They should have learned more and diligently read to find
knowledge as their life provision in the future as adults.
Knowledge shall not come itself without searching and studies.
One cannot master self-defense prowess, life skills of farming or
trading in the absence of agility or willingness to try them in real
life experience. And so the Orphan seemed to pause, but he kept
talking to himself. “Leading a life like me, without father and
mother, means doing everything alone. The farm vegetables are
indeed abundant, but there’s not even sekanting/ a cup rice of
rice, let alone secupa/ six cups of rice, unless there’s money to
buy them. Not even one fish to find without effort to catch it
using bubu (fish trap) placed in the river. When I was little, my
mother and father provided everything. Now, I must provide them
myself for the sake of my grandmother and my current life in the
present and for the better future. As my teacher said, if you don’t
feel like doing something, then force yourself to do it a bit more
until the laziness turned into passion for hard work.”
When he was daydreaming, from across the street, a little boy
screaming for his father, “Father…! Father…!” The boy got
separated from his mother who was buzzy fixing her sandal lace.
The little boy chased after his father who walked not far ahead.
The Orphan thought about his deceased mother and father. He
imagined if his father was still alive, he wouldn’t have to vend in
the heat and live with his grandmother in a far way field in the
middle of the forest. His imagination went wild, thinking about a
happy life with his parents. Then, as he was exhausted, he leaned
against the banyan tree and fell asleep. He dreamed of getting
diamonds and having a beautiful beteri (princess), yet who and
where it was remained unclear. His diamonds became the target
of evil people. In order to save his diamond and himself from the
evil people’s chase, he ran in and out of the forest. When he was
nearly caught, he jumped and dove in the river. He intended to
swim across the river, but he was swept away by the current. He
was getting further away from his enemy’s chase, but he became
more exhausted and attempted to swim downstream. Once getting
on the downstream, he felt safe. Later on, on the shallow bottom,
he tried to get onto the riverbank. On that riverbank, there sat an
incredibly beautiful beteri, leaning against the rocks, preparing
herself to take a bath. But it such a shame that beautiful beteri
was surprised, she then screamed and ran as fast as she could.
That scream put an end to his dream in broad daylight, right
before afternoon prayers time.
The sound of the mosque drum, followed by the people who
called for afternoon prayers, was heard loudly from the mosque,
not far from where the Orphan fell asleep.
Because of that, he woke up and rubbed his eyes and face. He
brought himself to reality by looking forward, to the right, and to
the left. He actually did not really want to move from his seat to
perform Salat in the mosque, but then he recalled what his teacher
told him, “If you don’t want to force it a little; hold it back a little
if you want.” For this reason, he rushed to the mosque to join the
prayers. He put his shoulder baskets under the yellow coconut
tree on the mosque’s yard. After finished performing Salat, he
recited the prayer and asked for God’s forgiveness to both of his
parents. He did not forget to say what his teacher taught, “If you
don’t want to force it a little; hold it back a little if you want.” He
uttered the words even more often after performing Salat. He got
to know the words very well, because they had gone through his
thoughts and feelings.
That hot day made him become thirsty and hungry even more. He
was forced to return to the ablution room just to drink raw water
and free his thirst. He was hungry but had no money to buy
cooked rice. In a state of hunger, he ultimately peeled a raw
cassava, chewed and eaten it as he leaned back against the yellow
coconut tree which began to bear fruit. So, this was what meant
by his teacher, “If you want (something), hold it back a little.”
The person planted this coconut tree must have held themselves
back, too. They have to wait patiently, from planting time until its
fruits are ready for picking. Not every dream comes true in a
heartbeat. There is time to be patient and make efforts to get it.
The village boys who want their dream girls should also hold
their desire back until marriage. If they neither have patience nor
self-restraint, and even if they dare to get involved in promiscuity,
violating the teachings of religion, then they should prepare
themselves for bala, and they must be subjected to punishment
through customary village cleansing (customary payment of
From afar, he saw a small stall. He intended to go there just to
offer his sweet potatoes. “Assalamualaikum, Uncle!” he said
“Wa alaikum salam,” please have a sit, do you want to order
coffee, tea, or fried bananas?”
“No, Uncle, thank you! I have no money. Instead, I would like to
offer these sweet potatoes and vegetables. Perhaps anyone wants
to buy them, a bunch of them is only five rupiahs, he said with a
“Oh….no, that’s too expensive. It is not shopping time for us
yet!” the owner of the stall replied curtly.
“Fine, Uncle, it's okay, but can I just leave my merchandise here?
I need to do something. I must hurry to Kedurang Village.”
“No, you cannot, go to other place!”
He paused briefly, feeling guilty for being sassy. He lost himself
in confusion. “Right, I am sorry, Uncle! I’m being too sassy.”
All of a sudden, among the people sitting in the coffee stall,
someone stood up saying: “If you want to leave your baskets for a
while, then you can do it front of my house, come with me!”
“Thank you Uncle.”
“Excuse me, what is your name, Uncle?”
“My name is Mukhlis, just call me Uncle Ulis, okay!”
He murmured, “That’s a good name, mukhlis means sincere
person. “Thank you, Uncle, for letting me bothers you.”
“If so, I want to give away these sweet potatoes and vegetables to
you, Uncle, I will take these beronang and shoulder baskets
sometime later. I’m going to learn Salat at Honorable Chief in
Kedurang Village. Please, give me your blessings, Uncle.”
“Yes, thank you. But these….these are too much for us. Perhaps
tomorrow I will share them to my neighbors in need. Hopefully,
you get useful knowledge that will be the path for the fortune of
your life. May you get a good life partner as well.”
The Orphan sheepishly nodded and said, “Amen.”
Thereafter, the Orphan went to the house of the Honorable Chief
to learn Salat for the third prayer. This time around, he was not
asked about how much money he brought. The teacher, the
Honorable Chief, was pleased with the learning sincerity of the
Orphan. He was taught with new lesson as additional second
lesson of recitation he already memorized and practiced.
“Well, you came late in the afternoon. Let’s start learning
immediately. Just repeat after me:“If you don’t want to force it a
little; hold it back a little if you want. Doing a job must be done
with confidence. People’s misleading words shall be ignored. You
shouldn’t obey them.” Now, Orphan that’s the recitation. Try to
repeat my words. If you already memorized it, please go back
home to your hut!” said the Honorable Chief. The Orphan
repeated the words for a few times until he finally memorized
them, then he returned home to his hut on the field. He did not
forget to retrieve his shoulder baskets and beroang at Uncle Ulis’
Discovering Magical Diamond
Upon arriving at the hut, a middle-aged woman who came out of
nowhere suddenly called him. “O, Orphan, do you want to help
me bury my child’s body?” asked a mother in a rush. The orphan
actually felt lazy to do this, but when he remembered the prayer
after performing Salat, saying “If you don’t want to force it a
little; he was willing to help that woman. As it was nearly
nightfall, it began to get dark. The Orphan had to light damar (oil
lamp for illumination), and went to the child’s burial. Digging the
ground and burying a dead body in the dark right before nightfall
was not an easy work. Darkness, quietness, howls of the animals
in the forests, and a bit of fear, all mixed up into one. Over and
over again, he remembered his teacher’s advice, “If you don’t
want to force it a little; that memory ultimately set him on fire.
Little by little, he worked quietly and patiently. Out of the blue,
there was a spectacularly glowing object. “Oh, Orphan, why does
this place become so bright? What kind of object that makes it
like this? Take a look at it son,” said her grandmother.
“I have no idea, Grandma. We better bury this child’s body first,”
said the Orphan. Despite only reciting few words of the prayer as
best as he could, the Orphan finally finished burying the child’s
He also managed to refrain himself from immediately taking a
look at the sparkling object. In fact, that was what his teacher
taught him: to refrain from sudden desire. We must be smart to
choose which is more important to do first and later. We must
refrain from buying new clothes, if we have no money. Even if
we do have money, we certainly cannot buy new clothes if there
is no money left to either buy rice or cooked rice to eat.
If we want to play and have fun with our friends, though there are
memory lessons to learn for the exam, we must refrain from
playing first. The ability to refrain, avoid the haste, and work
diligently is a part of characteristics of men of honor.
After finished burying the child’s corpse, the Orphan approached
the brightly sparkling object. The size was about the size of a
mango. Furthermore, he carefully took and brought the object to
the hut with his grandmother. In the cottage, the object could
illuminate the entire grandmother’s room that they no longer
needed to light damar (kerosene wall-lamp). The strange object
brightly glowed. Once in a while, the light turned bluish, blinked,
and slowly dimmed, then it slowly glowed again just like the light
For almost overnight, the Orphan and his grandmother could not
sleep on that Friday night. They safeguarded and watched that
magical object in amazement and admiration. When its bright
light slowly dimmed and turned into a blue light, the silence
turned into intense atmosphere. The blinding light and blue ray of
that object brought forth a rigid and slightly frightening mystical
circumstance. The Orphan and his grandmother looked at each
other, wondering. They looked to their left and right slowly. They
saw a flashing silhouette that went through the wall of the hut.
The Orphan felt a bit of chill ran up his spine. The atmosphere
grew tense even more with the howling and roar of night animals
in the forest surrounding the hut. Each sound from the friction of
the hut’s boards, the friction of branches, twigs, or leafs in the
gust of the wind raised suspicion.
The downpour came, accompanied with strong, lightning and
thunder. The increasingly cold air burst into the tiny hut of which
bamboo walls were not tightly closed. The shine from the magical
stone continued to blink slowly, then dimmed, glowed, and
changed into bright blue.
There was a strong wind swirling around the hut. The friction of
leaves and branches in the forest, combined with the screeching
rattle of friction at the base of bamboo propeller’s axle, sounded
like screeching noise of a convoy transporting a dead body.
The bamboo propeller’s base was as wide as one bamboo
segment, tailed back to the end with a dried dragon fruit atop of it.
The base of the bamboo segment which held the propeller’s
wooden axle was inserted to the tip of its bamboo pole for about
three or five meters high. That bamboo rod was tied to a tree
stump. The propeller’s tail stretched straight in line so that it
would face the wind.
The louder the wind blew, the louder the propeller would spin and
rattle like siren. At times, it would produce pounding sound. The
propellers slightly jarred. Their boisterous sound was heard like
sirens, marking uproar.
“Grandma, what kind of sound is it?” asked the Orphan,
frightened. “It is nothing, that’s the sound of the bamboo
propellers you installed on our fields!” responded the
Grandmother, calming him down.
Before they even knew it, the night was almost over. The rain and
the wind subsided a little, and the throbbing sound of the
propeller was no longer heard. At breaking dawn, the
grandmother and her grandchildren jointly performed dawn
prayers. The magical stone blinked brightly and dimly, but it was
no longer daunting. After performing dawn prayers, the
“And just like that, the nature constantly gave signs of its
transition. From here on, the wind and the rain will gradually go
away so that the propellers will freeze as well. They will stand
still, soundless, when the wind isn’t blowing hard.
On the contrary, when the wind is blowing from the east, the
propeller will face east, yet it will spin according to the strength
of the wind. When the wind blows softly, it will spin slowly. But,
when the wind blows hard, it will spin fast. In fact, you can see it
for yourself, during high-speed wind, the pole will bounce back
as if it is about to break. But, to some extent, its resistance against
the wind currents will change. Once bouncing, it will jerk from
back to front with a little rumbling noise, releasing its power.
Then, it will start to spin again from the beginning slowly, and
gradually tighten in line with the rhythm of the wind.
And just like the propeller, at the present time and the future, we
shall face life challenges. There is a time we find ourselves in
quiet period, without noise, without extraordinary busy activities.
Thereafter, there should be a different period of times, especially
during the transitional period. The transition from drought to
rainy season is commonly characterized by dense clouds hanging
heavily in the space.
From here on, the rain will fall, the wind will blow accompanied
by lightning and thunderclap.
When the rain stops and the wind subsides, the next day or a few
days later, we can see the plants turning green, new grains grow
everywhere; birds tweet joyfully, cattle or wild animals excitedly
enjoy fresh grass. And that’s the outcome of struggle and
transition of the nature.
And that is the dawn of new changes in our lives; there should be
a full transition period of challenges, full of exams, and we must
be able to survive steadily. In the life transition from the womb to
the outer life of the womb, the humankind ought to go through an
intense laborious process. The transition from infancy, where the
only to do is lying down and sleeping, into a baby who can learn
to lie on his stomach, crawl, stand and walk, is accomplished by
struggle. When a child learns to walk, they must fall and get up,
and sometimes get bleeding wound to get the ability to stand and
In the city, schoolchildren must pass school exam before
enrolling to a higher education. The students of religious boarding
school must take Quran memory exam to upgrade to more
advanced Quran studies or so that their teacher will let them pass
on their exams. “Umm, well, are you nearly graduating from the
Honorable Chief’s Quran recital lesson?” asked the grandmother
with a smile.
“Yes, Alhamdulillah, Grandma, although I only learned for three
times, every time I took the memory test, I always passed the test,
and then I was sent home.”
“Well, Alhamdulillah, you quickly memorized it. My grandson is
doubtlessly smart. But….but that’s because the lesson only
comprises one phrase, and then added with another phrase, why
won’t you try to memorize one Juz Amma in one day?” the
Grandmother jokingly asked.
“Ha, ha, right, Grandma. It will be difficult to do that. Uh, don’t
get it wrong, Grandma. Maybe I will memorize it within one day
if I sincerely study and keep on learning, and if God wills, then I
will be given with convenience.”
“Amen, Amen,” said his grandmother, as she smiled and rubbed
her grandson’s back affectionately.
In the afternoon, the Orphan intended to bring the object he found
to the district of the Honorable Chief.
“Grandma, I’m going to the house of Honorable Chief,” said the
“Don’t do it, son, that magical thing will be taken away by the
villagers,” his grandmother replied.
“Take it easy, Grandma, I can take a good care of it because I did
not steal from anyone.”
And then, the stone was finally brought to the district of
“Arriving at the house of the Honorable Chief, many villagers
already gathered there. They were very astonished to see the thing
brought by the Orphan, and so was the Honorable Chief. “Hey,
Orphan, what kind of thing you bring, it’s eye-blinding?” asked
“I do not know the name of this thing, your Excellency,” replied
the Orphan. “I obtained this stone after burying the dead body of
a child in the hamlet at night.”
“Before you did it, you felt lazy, right? You finished your job to
bury the corpse first, and then you approached the light coming
out of the rock, didn’t you?” After the Orphan answered with a
nod, the Honorable Chief nodded, slightly tilted his head to the
right. He vaguely recalled the marriage of his daughter with a
gravedigger, but it all happened in a dream. The Orphan said yes,
nodding in amazement. How could the Honorable Chief found
out about all of these things?
There was a little child jostled through the crowd of people in the
Honorable Chief’s house, as the child wanted to see it. “Oh little
child, you, what are you trying to see? Just go play out there,”
“Why shouldn’t I? I also want to see the magical diamond
belongs to Orphan,” said the child. The child called the object
belonged to the Orphan as a magical diamond. Since then, the
adults there and the Honorable Child also called the object as
“Well, that’s right. That’s a magical diamond. That’s a magical
diamond,” said one of them, convincing everyone who was there.
“The Orphan has been blessed for his moral glory and hard work
“He doesn’t need to vend sweet potatoes anymore,” another
“Yes, it’s true, he doesn’t have to stay on that field in the faraway
forest,” another one suggested.
“The Orphan is now a rich man,” told another. “The Orphan
paused, but every time someone called and boasted about him, his
half-whispering word was
In his heart, the Honorable Chief also agreed to it and became
more confident with her daughter’s future husband that he learned
from his dream.
The Orphan Got Married to A Princess
The Honorable Chief abruptly told the Orphan: “O Orphan, I
would like to marry you to Beteri (Princess), my only beloved
“What? Marry me to a Beteri, do poor and awful people like me
deserve to marry that beautiful Beteri? Isn’t it too much, your
Excellency?” answered the Orphan.
“No matter what it is, I shall marry you to my Beteri, my beloved
daughter,” said the Chief once again.
“Well then, but I have to ask for your permission to go back to
my grandmother’s hut first, your Excellency,” said the Orphan.
The Orphan told about the events he experienced in the house of
Honorable Chief to his grandmother. He didn’t forget to mention
the Honorable Chief’s wishes to have the Orphan as his son-in-
law, and so the Grandmother was very happy. She prostrated in
gratitude on the field in front of her hut. But then, she imagined
about it for a while.
“What if my grandson becomes the Honorable Chief’s son-in-
law? Will he still be working in the fields? Who will take care of
me in this hut and field? Who will make and replace broken
propellers? Who will sell the field products to the city? Well, let it
be.” She answered her own questions in her heart.
Shortly afterwards, the Orphan finally got married with Beteri.
Both of them lived as a husband and wife in the spacious house
and yard belonged to the Honorable Chief. The extremely vast
rice fields and farmlands that produced rich harvest belonged to
the Honorable Chief were everywhere to find.
Despite living in the house of a pious and wealthy Chief, the
Orphan continued to work hard and managed the labors of the
Chief’s rice fields and farmlands. He really loved his family and
employees. He was religious and diligently performed joint
prayers with the people.
A hut was built for the Orphan’s grandmother on a rice field and
farmland given by the Honorable Chief to him and his wife. The
grandmother did not want to live in the same house with the
Orphan and his wife in the house of the Honorable Chief. “It is
far too special,” she thought. She preferred to live on the rice field
and farmland not far from the residence of the Orphan. In
between his busyness, the Orphan took a rest with his wife in his
grandmother’s hut, but sometimes the Orphan met his
In the meantime, far across the village, the people from Padang
Guci Village had been busy talking about the Orphan. They said
that the Orphan got a Mother Diamond. “The diamond is a
symbol of our unity together. We’re the ones who should have
gotten the diamond,” they thought.
Then, they flocked together, carrying half a basket containing
small diamonds to the house of the Honorable Chief and the
Orphan in Kedurang Village.
“Hey, Orphan, we came from Padang Guci and Kaur to exchange
our diamonds with yours,” said one of them.
“I do not want it because I did not steal it from anyone,” he
“You must accept it as you obtained that diamond from the
upstream of the river which flowed all the way to the downstream
which bordered our villages,” their village head answered. “We
have the intention to make the diamond as our heirloom
symbolizing the glory and prosperity of our village.”
A dispute broke between the villagers of Padang Guci and Kaur
with the Orphan, the Chief tried to find a way and behaved
wisely. “You don’t have to argue. Put it this way, we should place
the Orphan’s diamond in the upstream, and your diamonds
downstream. Suppose the Mother Diamond approached the little
diamonds, it means that the Orphan lost. On the other hand, if the
little diamonds approached the Mother Diamond, it means the
Orphan won,” said Honorable Chief.
Thereafter, the Chief asked the witness event to be hold in the
place of worship. The villagers were told to clean themselves and
sit together before watching what would happen to mother
diamonds and little diamonds.
After the diamonds were placed in their respective places, the
little diamonds apparently moved closer slowly to the Mother
Diamond belonged to the Orphan, until they formed a semi-circle.
The villagers were hypnotized for watching the diamonds moved
simultaneously and stopped altogether, encircling the Mother
Diamond. “Hooray…. Hooray…., it means my husband is the
winner, Father. The people of Padang Guci and Kaur are defeated
according to the agreement. Those little diamonds belong to us
now,” told the Beteri joyously.
“Yes, this is the proof,” said the Honorable Chief shortly and
authoritatively. But then it became quiet again.
The Orphan and the Honorable Chief then became very rich with
the Mother Diamond and the Little Diamonds. Some time ago,
their relationship was like this: the Honorable Chief was the
Orphan’s teacher who turned into his father-in-law; while the
Orphan was the Honorable Chief’s student who turned into his
son-in-law. The Orphan used to be poor, but then he became a
Chief and was very rich.
They were the people who successfully gathered the villagers in
and around the place of worship. They had shown wise attitude,
melting the hearts of the villagers. It seemed like the villagers
were hypnotized when they set their feet in the holy place facing
the Qibla. It was all began from their attraction to the magical
The Orphan Became A Chief
Before they were welcomed to return home, the Chief advised,
“O my brothers, this incident actually shows that we have won.
We are in triumph as we can gather in this place of worship. That
Mother Diamond brought to this assembly is our unifier. It has
been proven that you come here without being forced by anyone.
You see it for yourself, the diamonds you carried were moving
towards one direction, to the Mother Diamond belonged to my
son-in-law, the Orphan. Therefore, I shall give you all my advice:
These diamonds are not the precious ones, but your clean heart,
willingness to keep your promise and get together with me and
the Orphan, my future successor, in this assembly are.”
“He has been studying Quran with me for a long time, learning a
word or two to get the magical diamond. The miracle actually lies
in the knowledge and morals that that transformed into the light
of his heart. The prominence of his knowledge is reflected in his
speech, and in his polite, assertive attitude and behavior towards
others. Before becoming my son-in-law, he lived in a hamlet on
the mountain slope. He worked hard, had glorious aspiration, and
eventually received the greatest blessing from God Almighty
when he obtained this magical diamond.
I hope that all of you are willing to become the witnesses, that
with this, I am handing over my authority over this district to him.
Make him your leader in your lives so as tocreate peaceful and
harmonious lives within one district consisted of these three sub-
districts: Kedurang, Padang Guci, and Kaur. Do you agree?”
“Agree, agree, agree!” they answered concurrently.
Following the agreement, the villagers felt relieved. They
returned to their respective villages with great advantage to
themselves and their families for the present and the future. The
advantage was the agreement of territorial unification between
three sub-districts into one district, led by the young chief: The
Not long after, the Honorable Chief passed away and was
succeeded by the Orphan as the Chief. The Orphan then became
the new Chief who was well-known for his youth, hard work,
devotion to elderly, wisdom in making the decisions, and
Nama lengkap : Halimi Hadibrata, S.Pd., M.Pd
Ponsel : 081315000047
Pos-el : [email protected]
Akun Facebook : Halimi Hadibrata
Alamat kantor : Jalan KS Tubun Raya G.09 Kecamatan
Gadingcempaka Kota Bengkulu 38225
1. 2010--2016: Peneliti Bahasa di Kantor Bahasa Bengkulu
2. 2007--2010: Staf Teknis Kantor Bahasa Kalimantan Timur
1. S-2: Pendidikan Bahasa (2003--2007)
2. S-1: Pendidikan Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia IKIP Jakarta
Judul Buku dan Tahun Terbit
1. Analisis Kontrastif Bahasa Indonesia-Kutai (2007)
2. Bahasa Dayak Rentenuukng di Kabupaten Kutai Barat (2008)
Lahir di Lebak, 11 Februari 1968. Menikah dengan Titih
Nursugiharti, M.Pd. dan dikaruniai dua anak, Fona Qorina
Hadibrata dan Damar Buana Hadibrata. Saat ini menetap di
Bengkulu. Aktif di organisasi profesi peneliti dan pembinaan
komunitas literasi. Terlibat di kegiatan-kegiatan pendidikan,
bahasa, sastra, budaya, dan sanitasi lingkungan. Beberapa kali
menjadi juri dan narasumber di berbagai seminar atau pelatihan
kebahasaan dan kesastraan Indonesia, dan sanitasi lingkungan.
Nama : Drs. Suladi, M.Pd.
Pos-el : [email protected]
Bidang Keahlian : Penyuntingan
1. Bidang Bahasa di Pusat Bahasa, Kementerian Pendidikan dan
2. Subbidang Peningkatan Mutu Bidang Pemasyarakatan
3. Subbidang Kodifikasi Bidang Pengembangan (2004—2009)
4. Subbidang Pengendalian Pusbinmas (2010—2013)
5. Kepala Subbidang Informasi Pusbanglin (2013—2014)
6. Kepala Subbidang Penyuluhan (2014—sekarang)
1. S-1 Fakultas Sastra Undip (1990)
2. S-2 Pendidikan Bahasa UNJ (2008)
Lahir di Sukoharjo, 10 Juli 1963